Joe Gagnon is the father of a Verona High School senior who competes in field hockey, winter track and lacrosse. Field hockey returned to VHS last fall after a nearly 40-year hiatus as a pay-to-play sport, and players and parents fundraised heavily to get it off the ground. COVID-19 scrambled field hockey’s in-person fundraiser for this year even though the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) has given fall sports a green light to play.
So Gagnon drew up a plan for a virtual race challenge. Participants simply sign up for a race, conduct their workouts on their own and log the results into a website. “Most people do these races for the joy of working out and they love to collect the finisher medals,” says Gagnon, who plans on pursuing a career in fitness when he retires from the U.S. Army in a few years. “There are single-day virtual race events and there are challenges which occur over a date range.”
Registration for Gagnon’s virtual challenge is open through August 31 and the challenge itself will take place from September 1 to 28. The goal is to complete 20 miles in 28 days. “I selected 20 miles for the 2020 season,” says Gagnon. “Completing 20 miles in a 28 day span is not overly challenging for most people.”
You can sign up to race–or to support someone who is already competing–here.